In general use, Herbs & botanical with savory or aromatic properties that are used for flavoring and garnishing food, for medicinal purposes, or for fragrances;
excluding vegetables and other plants consumed for macro-nutrients.
Culinary use typically distinguishes herbs from spices.
Herbs generally refers to the leafy green or flowering parts of a plant (either fresh or dried), while spices are usually dried and produced from other parts of the plant, including seeds, bark, roots and fruits.
Herbs have a variety of uses including culinary, medicinal, and in some cases, spiritual.
General usage of the term “herb” differs between culinary herbs and medicinal herbs;
in medicinal or spiritual use, any parts of the plant might be considered as “herbs”, including leaves, roots, flowers, seeds, root bark, inner bark (and cambium), resin and pericardia.
The word “herb” is common among North American English speakers and those from other regions where h-dropping occurs.
In botany, the word “herb” is used as a synonym for “herbaceous plant”.
“What is a herb?” “The friend of physicians and the praise of cooks.”
In botany, the term herb refers to a herbaceous plant, defined as a small, seed-bearing plant without a woody stem in which all aerial parts
(i.e. above ground) die back to the ground at the end of each growing season.
Usually the term refers to perennials, although herbaceous plants can also be annuals (where the plant dies at the end of the growing season and grows back from seed next year), or biennials.
Herbs & botanical This term is in contrast to shrubs and trees which possess a woody stem.
Shrubs and trees are also defined in terms of size, where shrubs are less than ten meters tall, and trees may grow over ten meters.
The word herbaceous is derived from Latin herbāceus meaning “grassy”, from herbs “grass, herb”.